India shall be locking horns with England in the finals of the ICC Women's World Cup at the historic Lord's cricket ground in London on Sunday. The Indian women's team is on the cusp of scripting history as it aims to lift its maiden World Cup trophy. The Indians had made it to the finals in 2005 edition of the World Cup losing to the eventual champions Australians.
The Indians started off their campaign in emphatic fashion upsetting hosts England in their opening game of the tourney. Mithali Raj led team then secured three straight wins on the trot against Sri Lanka, West Indies and arch rivals Pakistan to virtually seal their place in the semis. The Indians who were steam rolling at that stage were given a reality check by the Proteas, losing by a massive 115 runs.
The team regrouped brilliantly after the defeat and pulled off an impressive win against New Zealand to seal their place in the last four.India was up against a formidable Australian side in their semi-final clash.
Indians were in all sort of trouble with two early wickets but Harmanpreet Kaur played the knock of her life to turn around the game in India's favour and help them seal a berth in the finals. India's march to the finals can be summarised as a story of great team work and some breathtaking individual performances.
The Indians gelled well brilliantly under the aegis of their star skipper Mithali Raj who has led from the front with the willow. Raj has been the lynchpin of the Indian batting, playing the sheet anchor's role to perfection.
Opener Smriti Mandhana started off the tournament with some power-packed half centuries while Punam Rawat scored a match winning century against the Australians. Meanwhile, Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy have consistently delivered with the bat whenever the team lost early wickets.
The Indian bowling unit has come good in the tournament. Veteran seamer Jholan Goswami has spearheaded the pace attack with distinction picking up early wickets. The spin trioka of Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Ekta Bisht and Deepti Sharma have dented oppositions by running through sides in most of the games. So, in a nutshell, Team India has the arsenal to beat England and clinch their maiden World Cup title.
India Women: Mithali Raj (C), Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mona Meshram, Punam Raut, Deepti Sharma, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Ekta Bisht, Sushma Verma, Mansi Joshi, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Nuzhat Parween and Smriti Mandhana.
England Women: Heather Knight(C), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Georgia Elwiss, Jenny Gunn, Alex Hartley, Danielle Hazell, Beth Langston, Laura Marsh, Anya Shrubsole, Natalie Sciver, Sarah Taylor, Fran Wilson, Danielle Wyatt and Lauren Winfield.
Match starts: 3pm Indian Standard Time